Carolinas Golf Magazine

SUMMER 2018

golf, CGA, carolinas, junior, equipment, sport, PGA, LPGA, association, magazine

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that become tacky when wet, and a good hat. If you don't bring them with you, you'll be doing some shopping at one of Bandon Dunes' four award-winning golf shops. O ne thing you'll want to buy before you head to Bandon Dunes: Some comfortable, waterproof golf shoes. In fact, bring two pair. Bandon Dunes is walking only, unless you have a medical exemption. The courses are easy to walk, and that's part of the charm. But you don't want to break in a pair of shoes while walking 18 or 36 holes a day, and you don't want wet feet if you do p lay through rain. What to leave home? Your umbrella. If it's raining, it will probably be too windy to make much use of an umbrella. Lighten your bag and invest in a good bucket hat to keep your head dry instead. The On-Course Experience Like most places in the country, the major- ity of golf courses in the Carolinas are maintained with a modern, manicured lushness. Bandon Dunes harkens back to the game's Scottish roots with firm, close- cropped fescue grasses and layouts that encourage playing the ball along the ground. "Before you go to Bandon Dunes, get with your PGA Professional and work on hitting low shots and running shots," Mur- p hy says. "Very few of the holes require you to carry the ball all the way to the flag and stop it there. A lot of the time, you want to keep your tee shots low and out of the wind, then hit bump-and-run shots that roll up toward the flag. There are a lot of holes where you can putt from 30 yards short of the green, so get comfortable with the ground game and you'll find it's a fun way t o play the game. It certainly requires a lot of creativity." To help navigate the links-style play, taking a caddie is also part of the Bandon Dunes experience. You can carry your own clubs or pull a trolley, but the resort has a large stable of experienced professional caddies that help immeasurably with course management and reading putts. The Off-Course Experience Bandon Dunes is a self-contained experi- ence. The nearest small town, Bandon, is 20 minutes away, but there's no reason to leave the resort once you arrive. There's round- the-clock shuttle service that efficiently whisks guests around the property to the golf courses, practice facility and accommo- dations. There is a massage center and a fitness room, but beyond that the entire experience is about golf, even off the course. For example, the restaurants and pubs located across the property are all geared toward the experience of walking golfers. A breakfast buffet helps you load up for the day's golf as quickly or as leisurely as you need. Each of the golf courses has lunch options that can be enjoyed on the links, w ith wrap sandwiches and tasty cookies. And dinners are designed for refueling while reliving the day's birdies and bogeys. Among the dining highlights are McKee's Pub, which features a variety of casual meals and the resort's signature dish: Grandma's Meatloaf. For more upscale steaks or seafood, the Pacific Grill and The Gallery offer a quieter setting, while Trail's E nd has breakfast and lunch options with an Asian/fusion flavor. All of Bandon Dunes' dining options have a common theme: Menus meant to help you recover and revive for the next day. This isn't spa food; it's meat and pota- toes, appetizers, desserts, and a strong selection of local beers, high-quality wines and whiskey options that would please a Scotsman. In all, the entire Bandon Dunes experi- ence puts the focus on golf – from the food to the hospitality. Murphy suggests embrac- ing the remote location and fickle weather to enjoy the unique experience before you head home to the Carolinas. "I tell people that the entire experience at Bandon Dunes is pure golf," Murphy says. "It's not the easiest place to get to, but it is well worth the time. You won't forget it." ■ The off-course experience at Bandon Dunes includes hearty meals at McKee's Pub (upper left) and opportunities to relax around a roaring fire. CGA Member Trip The CGA has plans to host a member trip to Bandon Dunes April 5-9, 2019. Look for more information later this year. 28 | CAROLINAS GOLF | S U M M E R 2 0 1 8

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